The Charcoal Maker and The Cloth Cleaner

A charcoal maker invited a cloth cleaner to visit. The cleaner declined because as quickly as he could clean anything it would get dirty again.

Like people will work better together.

The Charcoal Maker invited a Cloth Cleaner friend to live with him to share expenses. The Cloth Cleaner declined fearing that charcoal would dirty all of his cloth.

JonesV.S. Vernon Jones Version

There was once a Charcoal-burner who lived and worked by himself. A Fuller, however, happened to come and settle in the same neighbourhood; and the Charcoal-burner, having made his acquaintance and finding he was an agreeable sort of fellow, asked him if he would come and share his house: “We shall get to know one another better that way,” he said, “and, beside, our household expenses will be diminished.” The Fuller thanked him, but replied, “I couldn’t think of it, sir: why, everything I take such pains to whiten would be blackened in no time by your charcoal.”

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A friendly Collier meeting one day with a fuller, an old acquaintance of his, kindly invited him to come and share his house. “A thousand thanks for your civility,” replied the Fuller; “but I am rather afraid that as fast as I make anything clean. you will be for smutting it again.”

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A charcoal-burner carried on his trade in his own house. One day he met a friend, a Fuller, and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that they should be far better neighbors and that their housekeeping expenses would be lessened. The Fuller replied, “The arrangement is impossible as far as I am concerned, for whatever I should whiten, you would immediately blacken again with your charcoal.”


Like will draw like.

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A fuller had a very kind invitation from a collyer to come and live in the house with him. He gave him a thousand thanks for his civility; but told him that it would not stand with his convenience; for (says he) as fast as I make any thing clean, you’ll be smutting it again.


‘Tis a necessary rule in allyances, matches, societies, fraternities, friendships, partnerships, commerce, and all manner of civil dealings and contracts, to have a strief regard to the humour, the nature, and the disposition of those we have to do withall.

1001Carbonarius et Fullo

Carbonarius, qui spatiosam habebat domum, invitavit fullonem ut ad se commigraret. Ille respondit, “Quaenam inter nos esse possit societas, cum tu vestes, quas ego nitidas reddidissem, fuligine et maculis inquinaturus esses?”

Perry #029